Sensitization of T lymphocytes to thyroid antigen in autoimmune thyroid disease as demonstrated by the monocyte procoagulant activity test
Iitaka, M.; Bernstein, J.; Gerstein, H.C.; Iwatani, Y.; Row, V.V.; Volpé, R.
Journal of Endocrinological Investigation 9(6): 471-478
Monocyte procoagulant activity (PCA) production has been reported to have a close relation to cell-mediated immunity (CMI), and the collaboration of T lymphocytes is necessary to induce PCA. Antigen-specific sensitization of lymphocytes in patients with Graves' disease (GD) and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) has been demonstrated by means of the production of cell-bound PCA by monocytes following antigen stimulation of whole peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBM). These cells, obtained from both normal subjects and patients with autoimmune thyroid diseases, produced significant amounts of PCA with non-specific lectin, concanavalin A (Con A) stimulation; however, there was no significant difference between the two groups, suggesting that Con A stimulated T cells induced monocyte PCA nonspecifically. Peripheral mononuclear cells from patients with autoimmune thyroid diseases produced significantly greater amounts of PCA than PBM from normal subjects when stimulated with solubilized and IgG-free thyroid antigen. On the other hand, liver antigen did not induce significant amounts of PCA production in PBM from either normal subjects or patients. Significantly larger amounts of PCA were produced by PBM from patients following thyroid antigen stimulation than with liver antigen stimulation. Although monocytes were the major source of PCA, T cells were necessary to induce PCA in monocytes with thyroid antigen and Con A stimulation. Elimination of lymphocyte subsets in PBM from patients by negative selection (using monoclonal antibodies and complement) suggested that the collaboration of T lymphocytes, especially helper/inducer (T4+) T cells, was necessary to produce PCA with thyroid antigen stimulation.